Wright crushes Crosty in mayoralty race
Mayor Wayne Wright won a fourth term in office by more than doubling challenger James Crosty in Saturday’s civic elections.
And Wright will be working with a familiar crew with five incumbents elected to council along with former three-term councillor Chuck Puchmayr. Bob Osterman was the only incumbent failing to get reelected.
Although Crosty put on a concerted campaign calling for change at city hall, Wright said it wasn’t the right time to switch leaders. A clear majority of 61 per cent would seem to have agreed with him.
Unofficially, the final tally had Wright collecting 6,633 votes while Crosty collected just 3,139. Vance McFadyen came third with 826 while François Nantel had just 207.
“They knew the real McCoy,” said Wright of the voters after watching the results come in at city hall. “People have faith in me. If the wheel’s not broken you don’t change it, plus you have to have positiveness.”
Crosty would not talk about the results when approached at a gathering of his supporters at the Elks Hall in Downtown New Westminster.
“I’ve got no comment for the NewsLeader,” said Crosty, after finishing being interviewed by another reporter.
Wright will be working with a council dominated by labour supported candidates, something he’s quite used to.
“I speak my mind. Sure we have differences of opinion, but we talk it out and we move forward,” said Wright. “I’m looking forward to moving forward.”
Even though Wright is an entrepreneur and has built a reputation as opening the city to business, as the campaign wound down, Puchmayr and Wright were out on the hustings together.
“I totally respect Wayne. In fact, I encouraged him to run for council way back and was surprised when he ran for mayor,” said Puchmayr.
“Even though we’re of a different stripe it’s like you look across the fence of your neighbour. You judge what the needs are in the community. You have to be honest and straightforward and do it in a dignified way.”
For the second consecutive election Jonathan Cote was the top vote getter for council, and he’s content with the way the relationship between Wright and the councillors has developed
“We worked well with Wayne in the past. Certainly we don’t agree with everything, but we work things through and do what is best for New Westminster,” said Cote.
Voter turnout declines
Although there were more than 500 people voting this time than there was in 2008, the actual voter turnout was lower. Three years ago, the turnout was 23.86 per cent, but in 2011 it was 23.45 per cent after 10,614 of the 45,273 registered voters cast a ballot.